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Title: Embers - Sample Chapter - Author: Amber Tiffany Jones

Published: Jul 12, 2013 - Contact:

Neil gallantly rescues Rachel during a violent rainstorm, and takes her back to his cabin to warm up. But soon they are swept up within an intense and sudden yearning, and they struggle to contain their desires.

"It's still raining," Rachel noticed. "Do you think it will rain all night"

Neal looked over to the window. "Probably."

They sat in silence, hearing the crackle of the fire and patter of the rain in an oddly quieting duet.

"We could tell ghost stories," Neal suggested.

Rachel grinned. "That would be fun. Do you know any good ones"

Neal shook his head. "Not really. I can't say that I've ever heard a good one before."

"Have you ever seen a ghost" Rachel asked in a low, spooky voice.

Neal laughed. "No, I Haven't. I'm not sure I even believe in them."

"You don't"

"Do you" Neal asked.

Rachel nodded enthusiastically. "Not really, no," she admitted.

"But," Neal offered, "I had an aunt that believed in them. In fact, she used to talk to them all the time."

"And did they talk back to her"

"Oh, yes," Neal nodded. "It's how she made her living. She was a medium."

"You're kidding," Rachel snickered. "You had a medium for an aunt"

Neal sighed. "Sadly, yes. And she really seemed to believe in the stuff too. She had the cards and a crystal ball, the whole bit. She taught me to read palms, too."

Rachel's eyes brightened. "You read palms" she pressed. She put out her hand. "Can you read mine"

Neal pushed his food aside and leaned over. "Sure," he submitted. "Why not"

He took her hand in his, staring down at it intently. His touch was gentle, warm. Rachel felt herself quiver inside. As he leaned over she could sense him, feel his closeness.

"Ah, yes," he said dramatically, and Rachel laughed. She watched his eyes as they stared at her hand. She studied his face, his kind mouth, and the soft sweep of his cheeks.

"I see you have a great deal of intelligence," he went on. Then he looked up at her, their eyes meeting. "You hide it well," he teased.

Rachel punched his shoulder playfully with her free hand.

"You're just starting out in life," Neal mused tracing a line across her palm with a soft touch. It tickled, sending chills up along her back. "You'd be right about here. You've had some troubles before, I see. There's pain here, not long ago."

Jason flashed through her mind, and a dark sensation filled her as she realized how uncanny Neal's insight was.

"But that's past," Neal noted, his finger tracing further along the line.

"Do I become a chemist" Rachel probed.

Neal gave her a soft, beleaguered smile. "It's not that specific," he laughed. He looked back at her hand. "But it does look like you'll enjoy what you do, if you're brave enough to do what you enjoy."

"That would stand to reason," Rachel groaned.

Undeterred Neal went on, his fingers lighting across her hand. "Your life won't be easy, there are challenges," he noted. "But here," he pointed to a place on her hand, "this one is interesting."

"What is it" Rachel stared down at the place on her hand where he was pointing.

"Here your life changes," Neal remarked.


"Soon. Very soon - if it hasn't already happened." He traced along the line. "You find something here. Something you didn't realize you longed for."

Rachel fell silent, watching his touch caress over her palm, up along the length of her fingers, the sensation sending frightening waves of enticement through her. His fingers ran back down along her palm to her wrist, hesitated, then ran slowly down over the sensitive inside of her forearm.

Rachel looked up at him, his gaze intent along her arm as chills raced through her. His eyes lifted to meet hers, and the piercing look dove within her. At once it felt as though they collided, his heart somehow beating within her chest, his mind invading hers. Shocks of terror raced through her and she yanked her arm free, hiding it with the sleeve of the robe.

Neal sat sharply back. "I'm sorry," he pleaded, looking away from her. "I didn't mean . . ."

"No," Rachel was mortified by her odd reaction. "It's okay, it's just . . ."

He looked over at her, waiting, but she didn't have an explanation.

"I don't know, but . . . but it's okay," she assured him.

"I didn't mean to overstep my bounds and frighten you like that. It won't happen again," Neal shook his head, confused. "I honestly don't know what came over me."

Rachel looked down at her hands, thinking. "You didn't frighten me," she said. She looked up to see him watching her.

"I didn't"

She laughed. "Well, yes, you did. But, it's strange . . ." she felt herself melt as she confessed, "here I am, alone in a secluded cabin with a strong man I just met, almost completely naked and extremely vulnerable, and I have honestly never felt so safe before in my life."

Rachel wondered if it were deep understanding that softened his eyes, or doubt.

"I'd better move your clothes to the dryer," Neal quietly suggested and he vanished into the kitchen. Rachel took slow, even breaths, listening to him open the washer lid and then the dryer, somewhere just beyond the kitchen. She cringed once more, just realizing he had to handle her panties again.

"Okay," he smiled a bit awkwardly as he returned, "so what should we do while those dry"

Rachel stood up and moved back over to the sofa. "We could sit and watch the fire," she suggested, rejecting the other less tactful suggestions that came to her mind.

Neal started walking over to the chair and Rachel quickly patted the sofa next to her. He stopped, intently studying her face. A calm smile touched his lips as she motioned him to the couch, and his expression relaxed. Quietly he sat beside her, and they watched the flames.

"It's starting to die down," Neal noticed, and pulled himself up. He laid another log on the fire, and blew at the hot coals to stoke the flames. Soon he moved in next to Rachel and she pressed against him, curling her legs up beneath herself again.

"So tell me something," Rachel snuggled her head into his shoulder, and Neal put his arm around her. "Why is a lawyer out here in the woods like this on a vacation Shouldn't you be somewhere on a beach, getting tan with gorgeous naked women around"

"Are you sorry I'm here"

Rachel shook her head sullenly. "No. No, I'm definitely not. I was just curious why here Why didn't you go to the tropics, or someplace else wildly lavish"

"Here," Neal gave her a gentle squeeze, "is where I feel at home. I like the tropics, mind you, and the naked women -- although I didn't entirely miss out on that here - but it's the forests and lakes and rivers that make me feel alive."

"They scare me to death," Rachel volunteered.

"They're dangerous," Neal conceded. "Most beautiful things are. But haven't you ever just looked at a lake or mountain or even just the sky and felt like you were somehow a part of it"

A tingle of realization shot through her chest as she remembered the gurgling brook. She nodded. "Yes," she said simply. She stifled an exhausted yawn.

"So why don't you have a girlfriend, or a wife You're not gay or something, are you" Rachel probed.

Neal shook his head with a chuckle. "I'm a bit gay around Christmas, but otherwise no." He stopped and took a deep breath. "I was engaged once, almost married."

Rachel looked over at him. His deep eyes were wet. "What happened"

"She passed away," he choked, then covered his cracking voice with a quick cough. "It was a car accident."

"I'm so sorry," Rachel gasped. "I had no idea."

He managed a brief smile. "It was over a year ago," he explained. "It's not something a person just gets over, but I do manage to deal with it. But it's what has me questioning my work now."

"How's that"

"She was hit by a drunk driver on her way home from work one night. The drunk was okay, of course, but Angie, my fiancÚ, was hospitalized in critical condition for days before her body gave up. I was devastated."

Rachel rested a calming hand on his strong thigh. "I can imagine."

"The thing is," he went on, "the other driver had been arrested for driving under the influence just a couple of months earlier, but a defense attorney got him off on a technicality. Had they taken away his license for that offense, maybe Angie would still be around."

Rachel looked back at the fire. "But you're not a defense attorney, right"

"No," Neal said. "But a lot of what I do is to try to keep corporations out of trouble when they do something negligent or damaging. Is what I do any better"

Rachel sat in silence for a few minutes. "Do you have any other family"

"My parents live in New Mexico, near Roswell, which explains some of my oddities but not all of them. I have an older sister who's married and living in San Diego, and a younger brother living the bachelor life still at home with our parents." He shifted himself uneasily. "And that's about it. How about you"

"So you're the middle of three children"

Neal chuckled. "Yes, I am. Does that say something about me"

Rachel shrugged. "Probably. But I'm not sure what it would be." She sighed, putting her head back on Neal's shoulder. He tussled playfully with her hair. It felt nice.

"I'm an only child," Rachel finally answered his question.

"And that's why you're so strange" Neal teased.

Rachel looked up at him, her head still on his shoulder. "Do you think I'm strange"

"I was only kidding," Neal assured her. "Let's face it though, everyone is strange. It's just a question of whether or not you like what's strange about someone else."

"And what's strange about me" Rachel stared back at the flames.

"Well," Neal stopped to think for a minute. "You're frightened of the forests."

"But is that really all that strange"

He shook his head. "I suppose not really, no. But then you go hiking at night without a flashlight and get yourself lost."

Rachel put her hand on his chest, enjoying the feel of the taught muscle in her palm, and pushed herself up so she could look into his eyes. They were warm and playful, studying her face intently. "I was upset and in pain," she explained quietly. "I wasn't thinking straight. It happens, right"

"It does," Neal admitted. "Usually it's because of love. Were you upset because of a man"

Rachel stopped, dazed a little by the directness of the question. Then she thought about it. "More of a boy, really, than a man. But yes. There was a boy that hurt me, recently, and I that's why I was taking a walk."

Neal brushed her hair back with his hand. "Does it still hurt"

Rachel's eyes welled a bit as she smiled. "No," she said simply "I guess the walk really helped." Her hand rubbed over his chest muscle gently, soaking in the feel of it. It felt to her as though she were exploiting him, taking advantage of him for her own insidious desires. But she couldn't stop. And his eyes weren't asking her to.

"The thing about you that is so strange," Neal breathed, "is how incredibly alluring you are to me."

He drew his face closer to hers, his breath hot along her cheek and neck. Rachel tilted her head as he came closer, her body swelling from the warmth of him. A fiery longing began to fill her, to own her, and she pulled quickly away before their lips could touch.

"I'm sorry," Neal panted, leaning back. "There I go again. We barely know each other, and I . . ."

Rachel tugged the robe closer around herself and wrapped her arms tight against her body. "Please," she insisted, "don't take it the wrong way. I'm just a little afraid, that's all."

"I can understand that," Neal nodded, his voice a bit weak. "We've just met, for all you know I'm . . ."

"Not of you," Rachel interrupted him. "I'm afraid of me, of how I feel." It felt weird to have confessed such a thing.

She stared down at her knees, but could feel Neal's eyes watching her incessantly. "How do you feel" he asked after a minute of silence.

"Oh sure," Rachel threw her arms in the air with comical dramatics, "I say there's a horrible monster under the bed and you want to drag him out and invite him to dinner!"

"He may not be as awful as you think," Neal suggested. "Maybe he's not a monster at all, but a friend."

"Well, first of all," Rachel took a heaving breath and fiddled with her fingers to avoid looking at him. "It's a girl monster, not a boy monster."

"Got it," Neal said. "I can never tell the difference with those things. They're like cats."

"And secondly," Rachel continued, "she terrifies me. If it's a friend, why does she terrify me like that"

She looked over at Neal. He was watching her face tenderly. "Friends do that sometimes," he smiled.

Rachel sat quietly, just watching his eyes as they studied her, caressing her cheeks. They touched her hair, her mouth, then flittered down along her neck and briefly to her breasts before he forced them back up to meet her eyes once again.

Her heart skipped a quick beat. She despised her yearning for him to do it again. She fought the self-conscious urge to pull the robe closed further up to her neck, and instead found herself breathing in deeper, slower breaths.

The dryer buzzer burst the moment, and Rachel could see Neal swallowing back his desires. He glanced toward the kitchen and back to her.

"Your clothes are dry," he stated. "You can get dressed, and I'll drive you back to the lodge."

She felt his words crush her inside her chest. "Of course," she breathed. "I should get back. It's getting late."

Neal got her clothes and set them on the sofa for her. Her panties and bra were on the top of the pile. She didn't mind.

"You can dress in the bathroom, if you like," Neal offered.

Rachel stared at her clothes, how unprofessional and crude they were. Jeans and a knitted shirt. She saw a part of herself in them now.

"I need to go get my car keys. I left them upstairs," Neal explained. He stood for a moment, watching her. Finally he stepped across the room and climbed the creaking staircase. Rachel could hear him rummaging around above her.

She picked up her panties and stood up. The warmth of the fire touched her bare legs. She listened for Neal for a second. His steps still moved around upstairs.

Hesitantly Rachel faced the fire and opened the robe, letting the heat wash over her. She swallowed at the lump in her throat as she spread her legs. The heat from the fire quickly warmed her between her legs, wrapping itself up beneath her body. She swelled further.

She wondered briefly if not giving Neal sex would hurt their relationship, if there even was one, like it did with her and Jason. She considered sleeping with Neal soon, to make sure he knew how she felt about him.

The hunger screaming inside of her decimated her attempt at justifying that she felt a desperate longing for the man, a driving sensation she struggled to comprehend.

Hurriedly Rachel pulled her legs together and closed the robe and tied it as Neal came down the stairs. He stopped partway down. She turned to face him, wondering how much he had just seen. The growling desires crouched within her as he watched her, terrified he would see them, and hate them.

Neal stepped down the rest of the stairs. "You're not getting dressed," he observed.

She studied his face anxiously. Was it a question Was he upset "It's really late," Rachel's voice quavered so badly she felt herself blushing in exposed humiliation.

Her brain screeched in agony. She should just take her clothes to the bathroom and put them on. She should go home and not do what she was considering. She should stop even thinking about it at all. But her clothes, lying limply on the sofa, seemed to cry out an end of the evening. They were the end of it all. The raging monster within her was demanding more than she could give, more than she could ever . . .

Neal was coming towards her, his eyes intent on hers, his face betraying his every craving. She could see what she knew all along he hid from her. His thoughts were exposed and naked in his face.

He stopped, standing right in front of her. The crackling fire chided their innocence and their resistance to the needs inside. Neal's hands roamed down over Rachel's shoulders, down her arms, to her waist. The thin cotton tickled her fingers as her panties slid from her grasp and toppled to the floor.

She tried desperately to run away, to hide herself from him, but his eyes held her a helpless, willing captive within his gaze.

She could feel him untying the robe. Scream, she told herself over and over again. Scream and escape! But her hand moved up to his face, feeling the rugged stubble in her palm, as the robe fell open.

His eyes held hers for endless moments as he slid the robe down over her shoulders and to the floor at her feet. The warm air from the fire rushed unabated over her exposed body. She watched as his eyes caressed down her naked figure, drinking in her skin, her breasts, her curls. With every look of his eyes the raging inside of her surfaced, terrifyingly larger than she even imagined it to be, and it overwhelmed her every thought.

He pressed his mouth against hers and the world around them vanished, and Rachel felt part of herself vanish with it. The monster took her over; she sobbed softly as it drove her to madness. She tore at Neal's shirt, ripping the buttons open. She sucked his delicious lips into her mouth. Her insides fluttered madly, floating in elation as his tongue invaded her mouth with intense need, his powerful arms wrapping her up and clenching her quivering body to his.

Rachel fumbled eagerly with his pants, the button finally relenting and they dropped to the floor. She ran her hands up and down over his back as he kicked his pants off from around his ankles. She ran her hands down to the small of his back. She waited, holding them there and feeling for Neal's response to her hands roaming down so low. But Neal didn't object, he only continued to kiss and feel her. Her heart fluttering painfully, Rachel ran her hands lower to feel his butt, and found he still had boxer shorts on.

Her patients gone entirely now, she grasped them harshly and shoved them down along his legs. She grasped both cheeks greedily in her hands.

His body, the pulsating muscles, the hair on his chest pressing against her, everything sent dizzying desire sailing through her body. His hands roamed over her, groping and caressing her breasts firmly, and sweeping down along her back to her legs, enjoying every part of her with crazed passion.

She felt Neal lowering her to the floor, laying her helpless on the soft lambskin rug in front of the fireplace, the enticing tickling feel of the wool engulfing her. As she lay beneath him, enveloped amid his masculinity, his hardened manhood pressing tight and long against her hip and stomach, he reached up and softly touched her face. His fingers ran with fervent longing over her breasts and down her side, his other arm pressing her close, his mouth kissing intensely down along her neck to her chest.

His fingers teased all the way down to her knee, tickling her thigh as she gasped in pleasure. As he brought his hand back up her trembling leg he pushed it along the inside of her thigh. She felt the hand groping ever closer to her wet pussy, and she longed shyly to shrink away from his touch. But she forced her legs open against her own will, gasping for air until she felt his fingers tussling the fur on her tender skin.

She moaned with need as he slowly, torturously teased her hair, tickling her intently. At last he touched her skin with velvety tenderness, sliding fingers over her labia, then between her screaming lips. Her hips pulsed with his touch, pressing herself faster and harder against his fingers.

His mouth found its way to an erect nipple, his tongue flicking it playfully, shooting quivering thrills through her. She fought to catch her breath, hoping she never would.

Her back arched instinctively when his fingers flickered with feathery softness over her clitoris. She tried desperately to stroke herself over his fingers again by swaying her hips, but instead he reached down to explore her softness more deeply. He slid fingers over her small lips, lightly pinching them, and at last a finger delved deep within her.

A frightening sense of fulfillment rose inside her at the feel of his touch there. He had found her, the most primitive and basic part of who she was, and he was loving it. His fingers probed ever deeper, pushing her parts open. As he massaged inside of her a calming excitement filled her chest, rising quickly.

He pulled his finger out of her and she ached for it again. His mouth moved to her other nipple to torment it as well, as his touch toyed with her clitoris once more. She moaned and pulled him tighter against herself, a deep pleasure flowing from the heat of her pussy and up along her stomach until it grumbled noisily in her chest and throat.

He rose to his knees, and Rachel's clitoris cried for more. He spread her legs wide, holding her right knee up close to her chest as he rubbed her grateful left breast with the other hand. Then he ran his hard penis gently up and down over her pussy, wetting it with her trickling juices, rocking his pelvis back and forth. The smooth stalk flittered over her clitoris, and Rachel felt herself flying with every movement. The room was spinning, Rachel's insides were spinning, in fluttering ecstasy.

He moved quicker and quicker, and Rachel found herself gasping for air once again. She reached down and grabbed at his hip with one hand, and unabashedly felt his thrusting penis with her other hand, her fingers caressing over the curves of the head and then down along the stalk as it stroked back and forth beneath her touch.

He placed his hands on the floor on either side of her, hovering now just inches above. She held her knees up for him, which pulled her clitoris up and unveiled it. She reveled in the moment. She had a man, a strong and needful man, naked between her thighs, making passionate love to her.

Lost completely within the instant, everything else now entirely gone, Rachel's heart raced frantically to keep up with the screaming delight that tore through her, swelling until it, at last, exploded into shocks of gleeful enchantment that made her entire body shudder as it flowed through her and out her fingers and toes. She shook violently and fell back against the floor, everything limp and exhausted. She lay immobilized, her pussy pulsing, as Neal stroked his firmness slowly against her a few more times. Gratifying chills swam over her with the soft movement.

He lay on her, his large body covering her. She wrapped her arms around him, the realization growing that he was about to go inside of her. She closed her eyes, fighting against the sudden fear.

Neal pressed his body against her, holding her close, his penis pushed onto her pelvis. He rocked his hips back, and instinctively Rachel spread her legs open for him. His penis slid down through her curls, and she felt the head of it slide easily onto her vulva. Cringing she felt him work his penis little by little, slowly deeper inside of her. Her heart pounded in a confusing mixture of excitement and terror as a burning pain tore inside her. Then, at once, he was fully inside.

Rachel gasped loudly, her back arching in pleasure. He was in her, filling her. Again she felt him collide within her soul, for the brief time they were one. She groaned as he moved in and out, filling her, pulling away, and filling her again. It touched her where his fingers had before, and so much more. She felt herself rising again, panting. He moved quicker, his chest rumbling as he moaned over and over with every demanding thrust. Her fingernails dug into his back as it felt like he grew inside of her, massaging so much of her she never understood she had. She allowed herself a deep grunt as he pushed into her, and stroked back out again, the excitement again burning with his gentle rocking motions.

He shivered in her grasp, letting out a loud groan as he thrust. Rachel felt his quivering flow into her body. She shook again as the satisfying ecstasy raged in her; this time it burned slowly, but left her as gratified as before, the monster sated, the needs content. She smiled despite herself, despite warm tears that ran down along her cheeks. Neal toppled over her, limp and breathless, then rolled over beside her with a peaceful moan.

He pulled her onto him, her face against his chest, his arm snug around her, as they lay on the rug in front of the dying fire. His smiling eyes closed, and he fell asleep quickly, his face happy and calm. Rachel ran her hand over his chest and strong arms, playing with his hair.

For the first time she allowed herself to study him closely. He was a man. He had a man's strength, a man's confidence. His muscles were hardened. She realized there was more to his life than being a lawyer. There was still a lot he had yet to tell her.

She looked down along the length of his body, sprawled naked before her, naked and asleep. He also had a man's penis, now limp and sleeping. It curved contentedly over to one side. His gonads were covered in rich blonde hair, as was his chest. His stomach, arms, and legs were lightly covered in hair as well. She touched him, his penis, and it moved with her touch as though it had a mind of its own. His gonads rolled a bit, repositioning themselves to their liking.

Rachel reached over him, pulled her blanket from the sofa and spread it over the two of them. She rolled over and pushed her back up against him. She stared for a long time at the fire, watching it quiet down to embers, and darken.